Biz Extra

Published: May 14, 2020 | Updated: May 15, 2020

20 Questions: Mark Northey, Owner, Norco Composites & GRP and Boiler Room Records

Mark Northey: “My favourite food? Thick white toast, peanut butter, marmite and grated carrot. Don’t knock it until you tried it. It’s so good Chewton Glen have had it on their appetiser menu.”
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Each week we shine the spotlight on a member of Dorset’s business community and ask him, or her, for answers to our part fun/part serious questionnaire. This time…

His favourite food is – get this – thick white toast, peanut butter, marmite and grated carrot; he gets angry at self entitlement, chooses Kimmeridge as his favourite place in Dorset and – as a huge David Bowie fan having seen him live 55 times – admits his first record was…The Wombles Christmas Party LP!

Mark Northey, Owner, Norco Composites & GRP and Boiler Room Records, takes the 20 Questions’ hotseat.

Question: What is your favourite TV show?

Answer: I’m a fan of black comedy so The League of Gentleman, Black Books, Inside No.9, The Detectorists, This Country or Psychoville

Q: Who would you like to share a car with?

A: Audrey Tautou and Kate Moss either side of me in the back and Nick Cave and Jack Nicholson up front to keep the conversation going.

Q: The best bit of my job is…?

A: Working with talented people who push boundaries and seeing their development and successes.

Q: And the worst…?

A: Not being able to communicate effectively with my team and a lack of control. The last few weeks have been hell.

Q: Who was your childhood hero?

A: No one has impacted me in life like David Bowie did from the age of seven. His style, grace, elegance, humour, talent, beauty, passion, drive and the fact he was always artistically pushing ahead of the game. He was my only constant inspiration in the rollercoaster of life.

Q: What’s your favourite smell?

A: Opening a box of brand new Jeffery West Shoes.

Q: Where’s your favourite place in Dorset?

A: Kimmeridge for the fossils, rock pools, tides, flotsam and jetsam, windswept waves and landscape.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone starting out on a career?

A: Lose your ego, employ or work with people more skilled than yourself, network, listen and learn, put the hours in and as soon as you can create collateral (e.g. buy your own property).

Q: What was your first record/CD?

A: I really want it to be something cool but fact is it was The Wombles Christmas Party LP. The first record I played to death though was Electric Warrior by T-Rex. I used to borrow it from my Mum’s record cabinet. The first single I ever bought with my own money was The Lone Ranger by Quantum Jump as I heard it on The Kenny Everett Show. It features possibly the strangest opening lyrics of any song – Taumatawhakatangihangakoayauo tamateaturipukakapikimaungahoro nukypokaiwhenuakitanatahu. Apparently it is a hill in New Zealand. I just want to see you put it in print Mr Editor! [Editor’s Note: Challenge accepted, Mark. Apparently the longest word in a Top 40 lyric.]

Q: What gets you angry?

A: Self entitlement – it is the greatest disease mankind has ever faced.

Q: Do you have a favourite piece of music?

A: This is probably the hardest question anyone could ever ask me because music and mood change hourly. I always feel without music life would be a mistake. Apt for the time is ‘On The Nature of Daylight’ by Max Richter because it is dark, foreboding, poignant but also structured, beautiful and implies a glimmer of hope.

Q: What are the qualities you look for in a new employee?

A: A desire to learn and teach in equal measure. Modesty, integrity, a down to earth nature and an ability to roll their sleeves up and get the job done when required.

Q: What’s your favourite food or dish?

A: Thick white toast, peanut butter, marmite and grated carrot. Don’t knock it until you tried it. It’s so good Chewton Glen have had it on their appetiser menu.

Q: Steamed sponge pudding and custard or a plate of melon?

A: Steamed sponge pudding with golden syrup and custard. I remember my Mum making these in our new microwave in the early 80s.

Q: Name the best thing about living/working in Dorset?

A: We have the most amazing record shops like Big Brother, Snu-Peas, Red Rock and Red Rose and my personal favourite Boiler Room Records that is located next to Lush in the old part of the High Street in Poole.

Q: If you were Prime Minister for the day what would be the first thing you do?

A: Get rid of 650 MPs, disband the 300 House Of Lords and employ 25 experts from all walks of life and industry. 15 of which are voted for by the public, ten by industry peers, five of these are elected by the 25 to make a majority decision. I would also pay them all handsomely to make informed decisions about running the country. It always seems ludicrous to me that effectively the largest business in the country pays a thousand poorly qualified people to make the most important decisions. Would any other business do this?

Q: What’s your biggest frustration?

A: Clients who don’t trust us or respect the value in what we do as a business and who expect us to do everything for nothing and then to be their bank credit facility and not pay you until they absolutely have to.

Q:  Where’s your favourite holiday location?

A: Japan. It has everything from snow covered mountains to coral beaches, bamboo forests to high tech cities, fascinating history and culture, incredible food, stoic and respectful people and definitely no entitlement.

Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

A: In the same place I did at 18 years old. In Tuscany, in a villa on a hill lined with Cypress trees, with a camera in one hand and a glass of red wine in the other surrounded by lavender, vines, sunflowers and olive groves.

Q: What would you like to be remembered for?

A: Sedulousness, generosity, modesty and someone on who you could rely to take the p***.